Saturday, March 21, 2015
1968 McLaren M8A
From the instructions"
1966 saw the inauguration of the Canadian-American Challenge Cup (CAN-AM), which raced two seater open top machines with unlimited engine displacements. Although held domestically, this unique series saw many F1drivers in attendance and quickly gained popularity due to the dynamic performances of the high powered machines. It became one of the most exciting race categories after F1 GP and the World Sports Car Chamionship. Founded by F1 driver Bruce McLaren in 1963 Bruce McLaren Motor Racing raced CAN AM and F1 GP from 1966. The 1966 CAN-AM season saw Bruce McLaren drive the McLaren M1B to the third place overall ranking. The following year he drove the M6A and won the championship, which led to the teams succesful period.
In 1968, the team entered the M8A which was lighter, had enhanced aerodynamics, and adapted the same monocoque structure of other F1 machines with the engine firmly connected to the rear bulkhead. The wedge-shaped body producd the increased downforce effect and featured air intakes with NASA ducts.
It was powered by a 620 hp Chevrolet V8 7-liter engine with eight 40cm long air funnels. In this six race series Denny Hulme and Bruce McLaren drove the M8A and took 3 and 1 wins respectively to dominate the season. Not resting on their laurels, the M8A continually evolved with the M8B, M8D, and M8F respectively. Despite the tragic test drive accident that involved Bruce McLaren in 1970, the team swept the CAN-AM, taking 5 consecutive championships from 1967 to 1971.